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Lost Things

April 20, 2007

The London trip is a mere 19 days away. My biggest concern right now is how expensive it’s getting–the pound is at a 26 year high against the dollar. According to the Guardian, it’s officially at $2 per pound, although the on-the-street exchange rate is closer to $1.89, still high but somewhat better.

In putting together some links and other info for my traveling students, I found this great article on the London Underground’s Lost and Found department. I love stuff like this. The thought that someone could lose a large theatrical coffin or six full-sized mannequins on a Tube train seems outlandish, but I wouldn’t put it past me f I was thinking of something else. The scatterbrained are legion, and I am among them.

I had my most unusual (so far) student attempt to get out of my absence policy last night. My policy deducts 10 points off the final grade for every four absences, and excuses absences that are due to documented illnesses (which means a doctor’s note) or university-mandated activities (the overwhelming number of athletic absences). My unnamed student (let’s just call her “Cocky,” shall we?) had five absences already, and emailed me to say she had gotten sick and would have to miss her conference with me (which was scheduled for the day of the email) and the following day’s presentation of her research paper (worth 25% of the final grade). I emailed back and said I hope she felt better, bring a doctor’s note. I assume she found this an imposition, based on her informing me, two emails later, that it is against Federal Law to use attendance as part of grade calculation and that “I don’t think the University of Mary losing its accreditation due to violation of Federal Law would be good for anybody.”

I like to think my reply was restrained. I didn’t actually use the word “bullshit” or “cocky little freak,” and I think that warrants some kudos. In case any readers out there wonder, it’s generally considered bad form to repeatedly break an established policy and then threaten legal action against those who put the policy in place when it seems like you’ll suffer consequences. Put more succinctly: it ain’t my fault you can’t drag your ass to class.

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